Phocon is taking place this weekend at XP Lasersport in Laurel, Maryland. However, this is the first year that I have missed Phocon since it began. It's ok that they're down one Tivia this time because rumor has it they have two Bhodis there. :) Although I am sorry to not be there playing this weekend, I am still there in spirit and decided that while the Photon warriors are out playing hard tonight on the vintage system I would get back to my roots and play at FJ where my laser tag journey began...and then began again thanks to Phocon.
For those who don't know my tag story I was too young to be an old school Photon warrior back in the day, but finding Photon on the internet got me started with laser tag back around 2007. I adopted my codename of Tivia (the ninja princess of Photon) and cut my teeth at this very center playing Infusion. I was a casual player, but found that I was pretty good at it and played often. However, I eventually drifted away from tag. Phocon is what brought me back. When I stumbled onto the indiegogo campaign planning for the 30th anniversary of the original laser tag I knew I had to be there. I also realized that anyone making a trip to this event would likely have way more tag experience than me, so I got myself back to my local arena and started playing again. I began playing every weekend. Then I started getting into competitive tag and exploring the wide variety of laser tag systems. At some point I decided to try to play tag in all 50 states and I'll be more than halfway there within a couple of months. I also decided to aim to play at 100 arenas in the process...I will actually exceed that number within just a few weeks. I have met some great people, I've played with and against some amazing competition (I've been on teams with people who are literally world champions of laser tag) and I've had a wonderful time each step of the way as I've chronicled all my random laser tag adventures. I started this blog at the end of 2014, began putting together my personal tag website tiviachickloveslasertag.com and built the photonforever.com website that launched on International Laser Tag Day in 2015. I have since been called "the world's authority on the Photon television series" by the vice president of Zone Laser Tag U.S./curator of the Laser Tag Museum (quite a complement indeed). I've been lucky enough to get a personal guided tour of the Laser Tag Museum and hold history in my own hands and I have interviewed some remarkable people ranging from George Carter III (inventor of Photon and founder of the laser tag industry) to getting the coveted first and only interview with Christopher Lockwood aka THE Bhodi Li. :)
Perhaps none of this would have happened without the magic and nostalgia that surrounds Phocon. I am appreciative of Marc Mueller and XP Lasersport for continuing to host this event even after the initial Photon anniversary celebration. I feel very lucky to have been impacted by Photon despite the years and distance between me and any original Photon centers. I have the greatest respect for the fact that the entire laser tag industry owes its roots to Photon and that there are still Photon warriors keeping it alive against all odds. The light still shines!
Comments or Questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com